- Baron of Rio Branco (1845-1912)
- Brigadier Eduardo Gomes (1896-1981)
- Chico Mendes (1944-1988)
- Don Hélder Câmara (1909-1999)
- Dom Pedro I (1798-1834)
- Marçal de Souza Tupã-Y (1920-1983)
- Luís Gama (1830 - 1882)
- Getúlio Vargas (1882-1954)
- André Rebouças (1838 - 1898)
- Admiral Tamandaré (1807-1897)
- Joaquim José da Silva Xavier, Tiradentes (1746 - 1792)
- Duque de Caxias (1803-1880)
- Friar Caneca (1779-1825)
- Zumbi dos Palmares (1655 - 1695)
- Joaquim Nabuco (1849 - 1910)
- Sobral Pinto (1893-1991)
- José Bonifácio de Andrada e Silva (1763-1838)
- José Lutzenberger (1926-2002)
- Princess Isabel (1846 - 1921)
- Juscelino Kubitschek (1902 - 1976)
- Marshal Rondon (1865-1958)
- Maria Quitéria (1792 - 1853)
- Orlando Villas-Bôas (1914-2002)
Joaquim José da Silva Xavier, Tiradentes (1746 - 1792)
Tiradentes instilled in the Brazilians a true idea of a country. Synonymous with a hero in Brazil, the nickname of the Martyr of Independence arose because of his work pulling teeth. His official name was Joaquim José da Silva Xavier.
He was born in 1746, on a farm situated between São José Del Rey (now Tiradentes) and São João Del Rey, in Minas Gerais. When he was 9 years old, he and his six siblings lost their mother; they lost their father two years later. Joaquim José then went to live with his godfather, with whom he learnt how to be a practicing dentist. He also worked as a peddler and also as a miner, and then, just over 30, he entered the Minas Gerais Dragoons Regiment.
In 1781 he was appointed as patrol commander of the New Way (Caminho Novo), the road along which the gold extracted in the region was transported to Rio de Janeiro. He had the post of alferes, a kind of ensign. In 1787, unhappy for not having been promoted in his military career, he resigned from the regiment and went to live in Rio de Janeiro, the Capital at that time, where he came into contact with the new philosophical and political ideas that brought about the French Revolution and the independence of the United States.
Back in Minas Gerais, he started to defend the organisation of a movement in favour of the Independence of Brazil in the city of Vila Rica (now Ouro Preto) and other neighbouring towns. He put his whole body and soul into the Minas Conspiracy (Inconfidência Mineira), a movement which had the support of part of the clergy as well as miners and shopkeepers in debt, who were incensed when the Government instituted the derrama, a kind of debt collection for payment of back taxes in gold. One of the insurgents, Joaquim Silvério dos Reis, would later betray Tiradentes.
The revolution, with the backing of the people and idealised by the alferes, would never take place: as soon as he found out about the uprising, the viscount of Barbacena decided to call off the derrama and arrest all the conspirators. The leader of the movement had time to flee to Rio de Janeiro but, betrayed by Joaquim Silvério dos Reis, he was arrested and became incommunicable for almost three years in the Old Prison (Cadeia Velha) where, later on, the Legislative Assembly building, or Tiradentes Palace, would be erected. The Martyr of Independence took all the blame for the Inconfidência Mineira and declared his colleagues innocent. Out of the ten revolutionaries who were originally sentenced to death, only Tiradentes had the sentence upheld.
The sentences of the others were changed into exile. Tiradentes had all his assets confiscated and his descendants were considered unworthy down to the third generation. His house was torn down and the land was then covered in salt, so that nothing more would grow there. On 21 April 1792, he was executed on the highest gallows ever constructed in Rio, with 21 steps. He was hung, drawn and quartered, and pieces of his body were hung on posts along the road to Minas.
100 Brazilians Book (100 Brasileiros) (2004)